A writer in Spring Lake, New Jersey, Sister Mary Bilderback is featured in our National Poetry Month series with “4th Street Pond at Dawn” which was her response to a notice that a naturally formed pond near the lighthouse at Barnegat Light was going to be turned into a parking lot. “I got together with a few feathery occupants one morning at dawn (and) this poem resulted,” she said. A local newspaper published the poem and to her delight, “No parking lot was ever constructed!” Sister Mary celebrated Mercy Day in poetry in 2022.
4th Street Pond at Dawn, Barnegat Light, New Jersey, Inlet
By Sister Mary Bilderback
A black skimmer works the cove
He goes in low, beak angled deep
Into the sky-drenched water
Slitting the seam between two worlds.
This is not a man-made pond.
You can tell by the rocks,
And the ducks in the middle
Counting their feathers.
A fish bumps the surface.
A raindrop jumps from a cloud overhead.
Rings of water like a conversation
fill and break each other.
A cormorant hangs up her wings to dry.
A willet wakes.
Red legs scratch brown heads.